London’s blue chip index slipped into reverse despite a continued rally in banking shares.
The FTSE 100 Index, which hit a four-and-a-half year high earlier in the day, clawed back the gains to close down 13.7 points at 6107.9.
Lloyds Banking Group was near the top of the risers board after a 2% improvement took gains for the year to date to 15%, helped by recent speculation that it could be in position to resume dividend payments in 2014. It was up 0.9p to 54.9p, while Royal Bank of Scotland improved 4.1p to 364.5p.
On Wall Street the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened flat as investors awaited a speech by US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke at the University of Michigan.
The pound was down against the US dollar and the euro at 1.60 and 1.20 respectively, with official figures this week expected to show rising inflation and declining retail sales in the UK in December.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Eurasian Natural Resources up 11.4p to 334p, Schroders ahead 49p to 1868p, Resolution 5.8p higher at 266.6p and Lloyds Banking Group up 0.9p to 54.9p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Kazakhmys down 23p to 785.5p, Wood Group off 17.5p to 783.5p, Associated British Foods 30p lower at 1500p and Whitbread down 48p to 2413p.